Sunday, 19 January 2014

DBR - Battle of Mohács 1526 (part 1)

My next period. Zvezda; Miniart, StreletsR, Irregular Miniatures and all that. Difficult not to be hooked after the movie. I've been in the place three months ago and with the movie on top of it all it becomes irresistible.

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Rapid Fire! 20mm, British Armoured division - Sherman equipped-Normandy44

After some time away I'll show you my Sherman equiped Armoured Division for the Normandy campaign.

 When building a Sherman based brigade you can use it both for the Guards or 11th armoured division (this brigade can also be  one of the independent Sherman brigades, the 8th, 27th and 33rd armoured brigades - not  the 4th as this one had mostly Sherman II  with cast hulls).

 This division was built before the 7th Armoured (Cromwell based) I showed you some months ago and it's built around the Airfix and Matchbox Sherman 1/76th kits. These two are quite compatible but while the Matchbox kit is the Firefly, and thus a British version,  the Airfix is one of the initial US versions of the M-4. So lots of changes were necessary.

I started this division many years ago and you can notice different styles of painting as well as different approaches to modelling, with some models with lots of work while other are almost straight from the box. 

Most of the these Sherman have the M-34 main gun mantlet, the most usual both in Guards and 11th armoured divisions.

This is the junior regiment of the brigade (blue markings, number 53). It's the most recent and the one with more transformed models. Basically you have Airfix, Matchbox, Fujimi, Britannia and Frontline Wargaming models.

These Hybrid Fireflies are original Fujimi kits (M4A1). I used the Matchbox mantlet and 17 pdr barrels, some Airfix Jeep drivers with Evergreen phones ( bended  thin stripes of plastic with heated ends) and a barrel cleaning kit box also taken from the Matchbox kit.

 I also made a 2nd top turret hatch in liquid GreenStuff using a detail brush. After drying it can be painted as a normal plastic part. I also applied this hatch to all Airfix Sherman.

The modelled foliage was placed to compensate the lack of the seam that was clear between the cast and the welded part on the Sherman Ic Hybrid .

The Britannia Firefly with a few stowage parts added.

What about the 75mm barrels of the Fujimi kits ?
Well, here they are glued to the Matchbox kits in a way to have the allongated Sherman V in plastic. True plastic  brotherhood!

Some Evergreen side ammo protections and a lot of stowage and here you have them.

The small M-5 are mostly Frontline Wargaming. I placed a Fujimi Japanese tank commander as the helmet looks like British at least in this small guy.

The MG is also scratchbuilt in Evergreen.

All Airfix Sherman received a rear turret radio box, 12,7 Browning MG, ammo protection plates to the sides and a barrel cleaning kit box all made in Evergreen.

The middle regiment of the brigade (yellow markings, number 52) mostly Matchbox kits.

The same Shermans V 75mm converted from the Matchbox Firefly from two posts ago  painted and ready for battle. These two replaced some soft plastic Airfix Sherman who served this division with dedication for many years.  

The small Humbers are Frontline Wargaming with some Rocco Miniatures as crew. These 1/87 figures come from a modern German crew set but are quite big for this scale and they fit nicely with 1/76th scale models.

The Britannia M-5 with a very nice tank commander in that beautiful chunky style  of this company.

The senior regiment of the brigade (red markings, number 51). A mix of Airfix and Matchbox Sherman. 

The recce M-5 are turretless Hasegawa kits with 12,7 mm Browning MG and crew from the Falklands 82 Matchbox set.

These two came from Belgium many years ago and were from the grandpa of my friend Isabelle Houart. He must have been a great guy as he had dozens of unpainted Airfix kits - Sherman, Stugs, Panthers, etc -   and hundreds of figures with which he wargamed in his attic - reminds you someone?

 Isabelle brought the entire collection during several years, a bag each time she came here.

The Recce regiment. (White markings, number 45). Revell and Frontline Wargaming Cromwells.

The Challengers are Frontline Wargaming. Recently Tim Wade remodelled the Challenger but these ones are 1st edition models.

The Revell Cromwell with a Britannia crewman. This kit is probably one of the best around. 

When I was building the recce regiment I was not certain about the existence  of  Fireflies in these units. Just in case I built three Frontline Wargaming models. One of them is another Hybrid, again with the lacking hull seam disguised with camouflage netting as the original hull of this model is a normal cast hull M4A1.

Some more Hasegawa M-5 from the recce regiment.

Motor battalion. Airfix M-3 HalfTracks, Frontline Wargaming and Britannia Carriers, Britannia 6 pdr and White car. The infantry comes from Esci, Revell and a few Esci Commandos with helmets.

The White car from Britannia. A "54" (motor battalion) plate was added to the front as the original vehicle had no space in the frontal part for such an inscription.

The Frontline Wargaming Carriers are packed with soft plastic figures. I melt the legs of these ones up to the torso with a lighter until they fit inside. Hurry up doing this before it dries up and be careful with your fingers !!

Comand and mortar stands. All three mortar crew are Esci commandos with helmets.

The anti-tank company with Matchbox 17 pdr. Crew are mostly Airfix. 

Sexton regiment: left and right batteries are Ready To Roll and the centre one is Britannia. Jeeps are Matchbox.

Airfix towed 25 pdr artillery regiment.

Corps level Airfix 5,5 inch artillery regiment. 

The Airfix Matador becomes an attractive vehicle with the Mickey Mouse camouflage patern. 

Introducing the infantry regiment. Once again these first battalion figures are mostly Revell, Esci and helmeted commandos. The Bedfords QLD are Frontline Wargaming. The MG company is on the top right corner.

Second battalion has all-Airfix carriers.

Third battalion.

The full infantry brigade deploying.

A large Bedford QLT from Skytrex.

Airfix Carriers. The one to the right has a Matchbox Bren gun in an AA mount.

More Frontline Wargaming Carriers.

Bedford 15CTW. Close to camera there is a Skytrex model; behind, two from Frontline Wargaming.

The pontoon carrier Bedford from some posts ago already painted.

The full division ready to embark to Shelves Beach, Coimbra- Portugal. Still waiting for D-Day...

British armour in WWII is a pleasant subject for modelling and Wargaming with its US based AFV's and some nice indigenous designs. 

Next ill show you my Churchill 6th armoured brigade in Normandy 44.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Military Phokia, January 2014

The phokians, from nowadays Foça, Aegean Turkish Coast, were a formidable sailor and merchant people who dominated vast parts of the Mediterranean in the classical age from the Black Sea region to Spain. 

In Foça you can find a beautiful Byzantine - Ottoman castle guarding the twin bays. 

The arrangement of the wall stones is quite different from the western ones.

Three of the doors of the "5 doors castle".

Ottoman (Osman) inscriptions above one of the doors.

The castle was restored in the 80ies and it's a well preserved site and worth a visit.